Screens » Screens Etc.

Critical Darling

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In lieu of adding to the empty grieving noise (and Brokeback 2 jokes), a fond recollection:

The first time I saw 10 Things I Hate About You, I was babysitting. (Who would trust Critical Darling with the safety of their child? Shrug.) Moving on: The infant brat was asleep. The household had Showtime — joy! I sunk into the couch to watch things my parents never would have approved of/I would have been too ashamed to watch with them — and there it was, at first just a bunch of over-my-adolescent-head Shakespeare allusions. Then that kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun. Also, teens drinking alcohol; dicks drawn on faces! It was overwhelming.

But I wasn’t moved to change the channel until Heath Ledger’s balls-out performance of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” It was so sincere, so committed, that I became unbearably physically embarrassed for the character being portrayed by this strange-haired, foreign actor I’d never seen before (who certainly wasn’t Freddie Prinze Jr. or James Van Der Beek).

Uncannily, 10 Things became one of my favorite movies, for which I have zero shame. But I can’t be seen at Club Skunk, so don’t ask. XO.


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